Pack Rat Mentality

Photo Credit: _venusinfurs_ via Compfight cc
Photo Credit: _venusinfurs_ via Compfight cc

Before our kitchen renovation started we of course had to empty out everything and pack it up into boxes. Our whole house has been upended and is pretty crazy right now with kitchen stuff everywhere! Who knew we had so much stuff? We went from cabinet to cabinet unearthing more and more and more items! We were astonished to realize that many things we thought we has thrown or donated were still lurking in the lesser used cabinets. We gave away a few boxes for donation but I think we might try to pare it down some more.

For two people we had an amazing amount of well…stuff. A lot that we weren’t using very much at all or were keeping just in case we needed it. We found a George Foreman grill that was so old the grill plates aren’t removable. The newer ones all have removable grill plated for easier cleaning. Mine was about 10 years old or more. A little bit of an emotional attachment since that’s what I used almost every day during college when I didn’t have a kitchen.

Keeping the old with the new
Oh darn, I do believe we fell into the pack rat mentality that frugal people generally end up falling into! Even if we get something new we tend to keep the old item “just in case” we need it. We don’t have a ton of those but we were definitely never going to use the Foreman grill anymore. For our wedding we received a ton of nice gifts and we weren’t entirely successful in being minimal. The most frugal people I know (my mom and dad) do exactly the same thing. Even if someone gives them a gift that’s better than they currently have they’ll still keep the old item. My parent’s home is filled with many duplicates of the same item. They probably have the inventory of a small store.

Comfort in knowing you have plenty
There’s something about having multiples of an item that’s pretty comforting since you know you won’t run out. I’m happiest when we have a full pantry and the fridge is full! Yet it doesn’t happen often since two people can’t eat that much food and it would all go waste. Of course the food part also plays into how much I like eating…but that’s another subject entirely. I’m thinking this has to do with an age old habit of building up a stash when there’s plenty and then being able to weather out tough times. It’s an ingrained instinct that we’ve converted to non-food items when we don’t need to worry about where our next meal is coming from.

Filling empty spaces
After living in college dorms and small apartments this house is the most space I’ve had ever! Where there is space then it tends to get filled somehow. We resist buying new items as much as possible but hey we’re only human. Those empty spaces are just crying out to be filled! The fun thing is that even though we donated a lot before the reno, it’s going to be very very hard to not buy a ton of new stuff after the kitchen is finished. We’re going to have even more cabinet space than before! This will be a pretty big test of will power…


It’s going to be an amazing feeling when we finally get our house back to normal. We’re definitely going to have a lot of empty cabinet space that we’ll have to try to resist filling right away. Over time we’ll get gifts and buy some items for sure anyhow. Not looking forward to the cleaning part though.

Are you the type of person who tends to keep all your old stuff even when you get something new? How full are your closets and cabinets?


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